An official from the chief minister’s office (CMO) said that the government will bring an ordinance in this connection.
Mumbai: The state cabinet has reversed the BJP-led government’s decision to allow direct elections to the post of sarpanch. A cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray approved the proposal to allow elected members of gram panchayats to elect the sarpanch from among themselves.
Almost two-and-a-half years ago, the Devendra Fadnavis-led government had amended the Maharas-htra Gram Panchayat Act, 1958, for direct election of the village sarpanch from among the people.
The move aimed at expanding the BJP footprint in rural parts. Before 2017, the village sarpanch used to be elected from among the elected representatives who alone could vote in the election.
As per the latest cabinet decision, sections 7, 13, 15, 35, 38, 43, 62 and 62 (A) will be amended and new sections 30 (A-1b) and 145-1A will be added to the Act. An official from the chief minister’s office (CMO) said that the government will bring an ordinance in this connection.
Rural development minister Hasan Mushrif said that this decision would help the interaction between the sarpanch and the elected members. Besides, it would make the functioning of the gram panchayat faster and more comfortable.
Criticising the previous government’s decision to allow direct elections to the post of sarpanch, Mr Mushrif said that owing to the direct selection process of the sarpanch, the development works of villages had been adversely affected. Several gram panchayats had a situation where the sarpanch and elected members had different ideologies, he said.